Indonesia, meaning "Indian islands", coming from the Greek roots "Indos" meaning Indian and "Nesos" which means islands, is a major tourist attraction in the eastern hemisphere. The Indonesia archipelago consists of a total of 17,508 islands that stretch for 5,150 km between the Australian and Asian continental mainlands. Five main islands, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Irian Jaya, and Java, together with 30 other smaller archipelagos, are home to the majority of the population, which consists of 300 different ethnic groups and speaks in 250 distinct languages. A booming tourist venue, there are many Indonesia Popular Destinations to satisfy the ravenous globe-trotter. The wonderful islands and small islets of the country form the major Indonesia Popular Destinations. The pristine and virgin beaches, the long coastline, the amazing beach resorts, the natural beauty of the mountainous landscape, lying by the side of green rice and paddy fields, the rolling green foothills, the volcanoes and hot springs, the lakes and rivers, the wildlife and plantations, its history and culture, its cultural diversity and extraordinary architecture, and ancient monuments all sum up the splendid and enchanting Indonesia Popular Destinations.
Officially known as the Republic of Indonesia, Indonesia is the largest archipelagic state in the World, which consists of 17,508 islands in the Malay archipelago. It is the fourth most populous country of the world and the third largest democracy of the World after India and the USA. Bordered by the two great oceans of the world, the land of Indonesia rises from the blackest lowest point of some of the deepest oceans and soaring to the peaks of the volcanoes and the kingdom of snow of the Jayawijaya mountain range in Irian Jaya. If you wish to spend to your holiday on the lap of the beautiful nature where you can find everything to enjoy for, then Indonesia is the perfect holiday destination for you, which offers various Indonesia Tourist Attractions, which are the combination of magnificent scenic beauty as well as modern amenities to spend your vacation comfortably. Indonesia is a land of mountains- particularly volcanoes, dense forests, attractive beaches, spectacular natural beauty, which draws the attention of various tourists throughout the year. The rich culture and tradition of this country attracts the foreigners who want to experience the culture of Asia. With its glorious temples, huge mosques, museums Indonesia is a house of several magnificent Indonesia Tourist Attractions.
The famous Indonesia Tourist Attractions are:
Jakarta - The capital city of Indonesia, where you can visit at The National Monument towers, Merdeka Square, The Central Museum, Portuguese Church, Istiqlal Mosque etc. If you want to shop, then antiques market on Jalan Surabaya and batik factories in the Karet are the perfect place for you.
The second-largest island in Indonesia is Sumatra, which is a house of the volcanic mountain range, hot springs, unexplored jungle and extensive plantations. Bengkulu, Gedung Wani and Mount Loeser Reserve are some of the wonderful Reserve forests where you can see tigers, elephants, tapirs and rhinos. The popular Indonesia Tourist Attractions situated in Sumatra are, Lake Toba, Lingga village, Bukittinggi's Fort de Kock that located close to the zoo, market, a refurbished rice barn and the Bundo Kandung Museum and the most attractive beaches on the east coast.
Popularly known as 'Orchid Island', Sulawesi is a land of high mountains, misty valleys and lakes, geysers and hot springs like Karumengan, Kinilow, Lahendong, Leilem and Makule, where you can explore the Bantimurung Nature Reserve, Torajaland that is known as the 'Land of the Heavenly Kings'.
With its spectacular white beaches, verdant jungle and mountain, Bali is a tropical paradise. Bali is famous for its crafts and adventurous activities, which are organized on the southern beaches.
It is a land of temples local handicrafts like rattan baskets and woven fabrics. Lombok is a popular tourist destination where you can visit at the Senggigi Beach, Gili Islands, Gunung Rinjani, and Desert Point well known for surfing.
The Banda Islands were known as the 'Spice Islands' in the 1400s, for its valuable spices. At present, the islands are popular for diving and snorkeling.
Capital of Java Yogakarta is the centre of educational, cultural and economic activity. You must see the premier university of Indonesia, the Gajah Mada University and various arts centers, markets, galleries, craft shops and bazaars.
Culture of Indonesia
The culture of Indonesia has took its current shape molded by several influences that have been prevalent in the land, as a result of the long process of interaction and acculturation between original indigenous customs and a multitude of foreign influences. Nestled between the ancient sea trading routes between Far East and Middle East, Indonesian culture, too a large extent has imbibed much of its daily practices and art forms from the Hindu, Buddhist, Confucianism and Islamic influences. These connections are clearly evident mostly in its many trading cities.
The kaleidoscopic cultural hue of Indonesia is largely cosmopolitan and need to be distinguished from the original. The complex nature of this culture can be easily gazed by various lines of faiths adopted by people here, for example: Agama Hindu Dharma, a denomination of Hinduism is now practiced by 93% of Balinese. Other examples are the fusion of Islam with Hindu in Javanese Abangan belief, the fusion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism in Bodha, the fusion of Hinduism and animism in Kaharingan, and many others.
With the diverse influences, shaping up the perspective of the Indonesian people, their lifestyle and values, the impact of the cultural fusion is also noticeable in Indonesian art forms. For instances, wayang- a traditional form of theatre show performed with puppets was used to spread Hinduism and Islam among villagers in Java. Similarly, in various Javanese and Balinese dances, often stories about old Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms are told. In Sumatra, especially in its Minangkabau and Aceh regions, one can see direct architectural inspiration from the Islamic art forms and architectures.
As far as the westernization of culture of Indonesia is concerned, an imprint of it though cannot be ruled out, but it is mostly limited to modern entertainment, such as television shows, movies and songs. One of the major influences in this sphere are the Bollywood songs and movies.